June Reads



Good morning, good morning! Happy Monday!

I’m writing to you from Colorado. Nate and I are here visiting his parents. I love having family in the Denver area. It’s one of my favorite parts of the country, so it’s nice to have a built-in excuse to visit the area! We’re hiking, drinking craft beer, grilling at home, and just generally relaxing and together-ing for the next few days.

One of my favorite parts of vacationing is reading. If you didn’t already know: I love to read! I’ve enjoyed books since I was a little kid, but in high school/college/grad school I didn’t make time for it. Besides text books and required reading, I read two books per year AT BEST from about ages 15-24. Then I decided that it was silly that I wasn’t making time to do something that brought me so much joy, so I committed to 1 book per month in 2015. That went well (I ended up reading 30ish books that year), so I decided to go for the BIG goal of 100 books in 2016.

It was so much fun and very challenging, but I knew that if I put myself in the habit of reading that much for a year, I could rekindle the love affair I wanted to have with books. And it worked! I’m hooked, and I’ve been reading at least a book a week for three years.

Ok….that was a long-winded way of saying that I love to read, and I have some new books to share with you!

Here’s what I read in June:

1. Educated

(Click here to order on Amazon.)

My little sister Kylee told me about this one. She seriously recommends SO many great books! Educated was released this year, and it’s already being recognized as one of the best books of 2018. It’s a memoir written by a woman who was raised in Idaho by fundamentalist Mormon survivalists who didn’t believe in government education. Her mother, an herbalist, and her father, who ran a scrap yard, raised Tara and her 6 siblings to believe the United States government was set to brain wash them, and the end of the world was just around the corner.

Her first time in a classroom was at Brigham Young University at age 17…but even at that age, she didn’t understand things like what “holocaust” meant, or that Europe is a continent and not a country. She went on to earn her PhD from Cambridge. And then she wrote this tell-all memoir.

This book is gory. Since her father didn’t believe in doctors, every broken bone, burn, severed arm, concussion, or car accident was handled at home with prayer and herbs. There are lots of violent, abusive, painful scenes from Tara’s childhood. She’s brutally honest is able spin her shocking story in a way that might take its toll on you. I think this would be an excellent choice for a book club, or some other setting where you can discuss it.

2. My Kitchen Year

(Click here to order on Amazon.)

This is a re-read! I first read it in 2017, and I was so captured by Ruth Reichl’s writing that I quickly made my way through all of her books. This is actually a cook book, and it’s honestly the only cookbook I’ve ever enjoyed reading cover-to-cover. I got it as an audiobook and turned it on in the car when I was driving around Austin. Normally I save audiobooks for road trips because I hate all the starting/stopping, but the “chapters” are just a few minutes long in this book, so it’s perfect for urban driving.

It really reads more like a memoir than a cookbook. My Kitchen Year tells the story of Ruth’s difficult year just after Gourmet went under and she lost her job as editor. Each recipe is preceded with a few paragraphs about how she found joy and purpose during such a difficult year. I love listening to her read it!

3. Fitness Junkie

(Click here to order on Amazon.)

This one is the perfect little summer read! It’s by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, the duo who wrote one of my favorite books from last year: The Knockoff.

Fitness Junkie is similar to The Knockoff. It’s about Janey Sweets, the CEO of a major wedding dress company who is asked to take a leave of absence after an unflattering picture trends on the internet of her….eating a bruffin…at the front row of a fashion show. Her mortified business partner tells her to lose 30 pounds or step away from the company.

The hilarious story unfolds with Janey diving headfirst into fitness world, trying every latest and greatest fitness trend (like Free The Nipple yoga) and eating next to nothing in an attempt to find her happiness.

I loved this book! It’s light, easy, fun, and perfect to throw in your beach tote on vacation!

4. Behold The Dreamers

(Click here to order on Amazon.)

How did it take me so long to start reading Oprah’s Book Club picks? I’ve been seeking them out recently, and every single one is amazing! Behold The Dreamers is a powerful story about a young family who moved to New York from Cameroon in search of the American dream. It’s a poignant, rich, terrifying tale that is so important for all of us to know in this era. As a white American citizen who was raised in a middle/upper-class family, this books tells a story that’s important for my ears to hear over and over again.

5. Bird by Bird

(Click here to order on Amazon.)

I got this one at the library, read half of it, and knew that it was something I needed in my personal library! I went straight to Book People and bought my own copy. Bird by Bird is Anne Lamott’s “instructions on writing and life.” As I’ve been looking for advice on how to improve my own writing style, Bird by Bird has shown up on nearly every list I find on the internet.

A lot of her instructions are about writing fiction, which isn’t something I necessarily see myself ever doing. But she also has a lot of helpful advice for all types of writing (even blogging), and I feel that, simply by reading this book, I’ll start to notice more intricacies in the fiction that I read.

Wishing you hours and hours of happy reading! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Hope you find a book that intrigues you! And if you want to see some of the other books I’ve been reading:

2016 Reads (100 books)

2017 reads (64 books)

2018 reads (thus far) 

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terra @ terragoes.com
5 years ago

I read Educated and mostly enjoyed it. It’s definitely fair to call it gory, but I did find her story very interesting.

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